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Published:May 13th, 2009 06:30 EST
Taliban insurgents

Suicide Bomber Strikes Near NATO Base; 7 Killed

By Christopher HIllenbrand

On Wednesday, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device near a NATO base in southeastern Afghanistan, killing seven civilians. One day earlier, the Taliban attacked the same town as insurgencies have greatly increased in frequency in the country.

Taliban insurgents

In fact, the bloodshed in Afghanistan has escalated to a level last seen when the U.S. initially supported Afghani troops in usurping the Taliban regime in 2001. President Barack Obama`s pledge to commit 21,000 more soldiers to the war relief by the end of 2009 may only make a minor impact in the war given the already thousands stationed in the country. President Obama deployed 32,000 troops through the first month of his term.

Many of the troops being sent to Afghanistan are being stationed in the southern part of the country, where the Taliban insurgency is the deadliest.

At the beginning of the year, Taliban officials swore that attacks carried out against U.S. forces as well as other allied forces of the Afghani government would climb.

Also on Wednesday, another suicide bomber drove an automobile equipped with a cache of explosives through the town of Khost, triggering the devices close to a large group of people and injuring 21 in the blast.

A leading official in Khost province claimed that all seven casualties were manual workers employed at the base located on the edge of Khost township, and reported that there were no apparent injuries or deaths to those in the NATO military forces that were within the general vicinity of the explosion.

According to Reuters, provincial official Wazir Padshah said: "U.S. forces... have encircled the area. The toll may rise."

Khost province lies on the southeastern border with Pakistan and is cut off from the rest of the country by a mountain range. NATO has utilized the region as its center of operations where a majority of the organization`s troops are stationed, including many active U.S. troops.

With the insurgency reaching new levels, Taliban militants are now turning more brassy in assaulting the government and its allied forces.

In the early morning hours on Tuesday, a group of Taliban suicide bombers raided a cluster of government buildings in Khost town. Nine Afghanis, some of whom belonged to security forces, and eleven rebels were counted among the dead after the Taliban opened fire on security officers. During the raid, one group of Taliban insurgents took control of a government building including taking those inside hostage. It took several hours for Afghani forces to subdue the Taliban forces and free those detained in the attack.

In Paktika province, U.S. forces confirmed that two civilians were killed and four were injured late Tuesday night after air strikes struck back against insurgents who launched rockets at American bases. Six Taliban fighters also died in the combat.